change america's gun laws is now on the table. lawmakers have unveiled the assault weapons ban of 2013, a bill that would prohibit assault weapons and high- capacity ammunition magazines. if passed, the bill would also require background checks for the purchase of firearms. 150 semiautomatic rifles and pistols would fall under the umbrella of banned firearms. 2,250 firearms would remain legal. the deep depression in spain is driving unemployment to a record high. the unemployment rate reached 26.02% in the 4th quarter, with 5.9 million people out of work. that tops the great american depression of the 1930's, when unemployment peaked at 25%. closer to home, an index for manufacturing activity in the u.s. is showing encouraging signs this month. in our cover story, the preliminary flash purchasing managers index for manufacturing shows new orders at hundreds of companies across the u.s. at their highest level in more than 2.5 years. keith mccloud, whose laurens, iowa, company helps employees position heavy objects in the workplace, says finally, there's a flood of orders to be filled. "